Tagged Questions

65 views

Will two perpendicular orbits settle into a disc?

Scenario: one "fixed" object (like the sun...) of mass X two "planets" (P1 and P2) of mass Y P1's orbit is perpendicular to P2's orbit, and the sun is the center of both orbits P1 and P2 will never ...
49 views

Could the Earth be ejected when the sun burns out?

My younger brother came home from school today and told us at the dinner table that when the sun burns out the Earth could be ejected from its orbit. Skeptical, I asked his source. He quoted his ...
2k views

How close does light have to be, to orbit a perfect sphere the size and mass of Earth?

The moon orbits Earth at about $380,\!000 \,\mathrm{km}$ away from it, at around $3,600 \,\mathrm{km}$ an hour. I was thinking, with light traveling at $300,\!000 \,\mathrm{km/s}$, how close to ...
168 views

Why do we orbit around the sun instead of one the other stars?

I am still very new to many physics theories, however while sat in class today, a thought came to mind that I have not been able to answer from simple googling. What is so specific about our sun ...
36 views

Relative effects of forces

Excuse me for my ignorance but I really couldn't find a solution. According to Einstein, every happening is possible to describe by both of interacted objects. Is there any other way to describe the ...
45 views

After reading up on irregular moons in the solar system - moons that are thought to be captured, most seem to be in retrograde orbit around their parent body. That led me to wonder if retrograde ...
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A small object on the opposite side of the earth's orbit with 0 velocity,“in line” with the core - would it collide with the earth?

If a small object (say mass 1 kg), at the opposite side of the earth's orbit (six months away), was placed in the same orbital position as the earth's core, at zero velocity in all directions, would ...
148 views

Using 2D position, velocity, and mass to determine the parametric position equations for an orbiting body

I have a gravity-related question. I am programming an orbit simulator. I have everything up and running, but I would like to render the smaller body's orbital path (the larger body is fixed). To do ...
260 views

Does Gravity / curved space cause rotation?

Does Gravity / curved space cause rotation? Meaning, if a spaceship is heading not directly toward Earth, but slightly off to one side, and when finally being close to the Earth it falls into earth ...
284 views

What is the reasoning behind the Hill Sphere?

According to Wikipedia, Hill Sphere is : the volume of space around an object where the gravity of that object dominates over the gravity of a more massive but distant object around which the first ...
98 views

A revolving astronaut

The concept of orbital velocity tells us that there must be a minimum velocity for a satellite to revolve around earth and the velocity should be such that the gravitational force of earth provides ...
77 views

A change in the mass of the moon [closed]

Would a change in the mass or radius of the moon have any effect on its speed? When asked this question in an assignment, I stated that it did not. My reasoning being that a change in the mass or ...
422 views

Calculating Orbital Vectors in the Future

For the 2D space simulator that I am writing (please note, it is not at all homework), I require formulas that will give me the location and velocity of a spaceship, relative to the parent celestial ...
37 views

Where are the L3, L4, and L5 of a hyperbolic orbit?

Do the L3, L4, L5 points exist in hyperbolic orbits? If yes, then where do they lie?
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I've been doing some work that involves particle's motion subjected to central forces. I was trying to compute the perihelion advance of the particle's path. For that I've been following this ...
147 views

How can you calculate the tidal gradient for an orbit?

In the movie Gravity, two characters are dangling from the international space station by a long tether. I've previously wondered exactly how you could calculate the tidal forces that act on an ...
100 views

What is most infeasible about a sky hook (as in space travel not Batman)?

We need to get things into space but it costs too much. Lots of people talk about space elevators but no one talks about the skyhook idea. I'm referring to this: Skyhook (Wikipedia), not the thing in ...
186 views

Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
265 views

How does the gravity of a massive non-spherical object act on things around it?

Firstly, not sure if this question ought to be in the space SE site. Please let me know if it should. (Posted in both for now) Secondly, I don't know a whole lot about physics (I'm just inquisitive). ...
76 views

orbitting around the earth

Does a space station need an initial velocity (tangentially) to be able to orbit around the earth or just the gravitational force acting downward on the station at certain height from the ground is ...
153 views

Orbit reversal in a gravitational well

A friend recently asked me this, and without wishing to spend a huge time thinking about it, I wondered if anyone knew the answer (or at least had an informed guess), or was familiar enough with these ...
192 views

Binary star system - Revolution around Primary vs Companion

How likely is it in a binary or multi-star system for a non-star celestial body to revolve around the primary star rather than the companion star?
187 views

How do you travel in a circular orbit around a massive body?

I am trying to figure out how an object could achieve a perfectly circular orbit. Given a mass for the planet or other body the object is orbiting and a distance from the center of mass, how fast ...
496 views

Can the mass of an orbiting object and the object being orbited be determined by the distance and orbit velocity alone? [duplicate]

This question is the inverse of: "Could an object orbit while moving at twice the speed, but at the same distance, if it had half the mass?" I'm curious about the nature of orbits, but am not well ...
357 views

What causes matter to initially rotate/spin/orbit?

What causes matter to initially rotate/spin/orbit? All I can find is the statement that in space particles of dust/gas/matter contract into a spinning disk due to gravity (to form stars, solar ...
191 views

Solving equation of motion of two massive particle exerting the gravitational force each other

I'm trying to analyze the motion of the particles which exert the gravitational force each other. Let $M_1$, $M_2$ be the masses of the particles, and the equation of motion of particle $M_1$  ...
220 views

Practical limits on the size of orbiting objects: could two pebbles orbit each other

As I understand it, gravity is inherent to mass and therefore even a small rock has its own gravitational pull. It seems entirely plausible then that a rock 1" in diameter could orbit a bigger rock, ...
111 views

Acceleration due to gravity?

I was looking into orbitals and found something I haven't been able to understand. http://www.math.ubc.ca/~cass/courses/m309-01a/hunter/satelliteOrbits.html There is a part on the page which states ...
150 views

Defining the star as the ellipse focus rather than the barycenter, what does the other focus do? [duplicate]

There are a lot of images and animations on the internet depicting two bodies orbiting around their common barycenter. The barycenter is defined as the (let's say right) focus of the ellipse. If we ...
100 views

Gravitational resonances for satellites

I read on the website of European Space Agency that the altitude of Galileo satellites, which is 29600 Km from the center of the Earth, is chosen to avoid gravitational resonances so that station ...
213 views

Orbital mechanics and rocketry: Is it ever a good idea to intentionally lower periapsis?

tl;dr: Hohmann Transfer appears to be the optimal way to achieve a circular-to-circular orbit, but is it possible to lower the periapsis in order to achieve a more elliptical orbit with apoapsis at ...
116 views

Orbit in the vacuum

As the space is a vacuum and there is no friction in space, Can we assume that, if we place an object in gravity in exactly the right distance from a planet with gravity and in the right acceleration, ...
52 views

Solar Catastrophe [duplicate]

Consider all of sudden the sun vanishes. What would happen to planetary motion. Will it continue to move in elliptical path or move in a tangential to the orbit immediately after sun vanishes or move ...
269 views

General Relativity & Kepler's law [duplicate]

According to Kepler's law of planetary motion, the earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical path with sun at one of its focus. However, according to general theory of relativity, the earth ...
134 views

Constructing an orbital trajectory that quickly returns to its origin

I'm working on a science fiction story that involves two spaceships engaged in combat while in orbit around a planetoid. My original idea called for spaceship A to trick spaceship B into firing a ...
215 views

Is there a mathematical relationship here or am I looking for relations when there are none?

When I was taking classical mechanics, we dealt a lot with pendulums, and orbiting bodies problems. This lead me to think about the two situations depicted above. Left: Shows two balls of equal mass ...
371 views

Deviation from Earth's orbit

How much orbital deviation is required for the Earth to get knocked out from current orbit so it either moves away from Sun or towards the Sun?
169 views

Is the fuel burn for a satellite launch affected by the position of the moon relative to the launch site?

The gross mass of a satellite rocket is tiny compared to that of Earth, and Luna. Between them, however, the two bodies set up tides in bodies of water which itself is again considerable mass. At ...
1k views

Could we make a trebuchet that could launch objects to a stable orbit?

Inspired by this xkcd, which calculated the energy requirements for accelerating individual humans to escape velocity (regardless of consideration for what that would do to your organs), I am ...
410 views

Consequences of destroying a space elevator

Suppose there is a fully functional space elevator built on Earth. The base is attached to coordinates $(\lambda, \varphi) = (0,0)$ e.g., on the equator on the zero-meridian. What would happen ...
374 views

The theory of moon creation when a Mars size planet hit Earth

As we know the predominant theory where does the moon come from is that a Mars size planet hit the earth and took a chunk out of it which eventually materialized into moon. My question is that if a ...
158 views

Determining Orbital Velocity

Is there any way to determine the orbital velocity of a point around another stationary point, if I don't know the mass of either of the points but know the force that gravity exerts and the distance ...
267 views

Can a photon be made to orbit a known (or undiscovered theoretical) body?

Can a photon through some process be made to orbit a celestial or any other object? Two follow-up questions. Can this orbit be described as the photon crossing its own path. Will this ...
78 views

Space station gains enough mass to lose orbit?

I.S.S is constantly being improved (add-ons). Will the space station need to be moved to a higher orbit at some point?
167 views

Apparent non-aberration of gravity waves

Since GR assumes that gravity waves travel at speed c, we expect we would be able to some day detect an aberration effect similar the that of light. Of course, gravity waves are so tiny in magnitude, ...
252 views

What exactly is the microgravity field in orbit?

The ISS and other objects in orbit still experience small acceleration outside from the perfect line of orbit (of the system CM). For instance, two objects in the ISS that are let to be at rest will ...
626 views

About binary stars and calculating velocity, period and radius of their orbit

I saw somewhere about being able to measure the velocity, period and radius of a binary star orbit by looking at red shift and blue shift. I understand it but can someone give me an example of ...
1k views

Increasing mass' effect on the balance between centripetal force and centrifugal force

Okay, this is nothing more than a thought experiment which popped into my head while driving home from work today. Take the case of a single body orbiting another, larger body, as in a planet and a ...